James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
commander.1 Soon hot shot from Moultrie and other batteries set the officers quarters on fire. The powder magazine was in danger. Anderson ordered fifty barrels removed and distributed around in the casemates, the magazine doors to be closed and packed with earth. As in the meantime the wooden barracks had taken fire, endangering the powder in the casemates, he commanded that all but five barrels should be thrown into the sea. At one oclock the flag-staff was struck and fell; and the fallen flag, though soon hoisted again, together with the smoke and the flames gave the Confederates reason to believe that Anderson was in distress. An aide under a white flag was despatched to him from Cummings Point; three more from the city by Beauregard. Negotiations followed resulting in honorable terms. I marched out of the fort Sunday afternoon the 14th instant, reported Anderson, with colors flying and drums beating, bringing away company and private property, and saluting my flag with fifty guns.2
In this momentous battle, no man on either side was killed. As compared with the military writing of two years later, the crudity of the contemporary correspondence and reports is grimly significant. They told of the work of boys learning the rudiments of warboys who would soon be seasoned veterans wise in the methods of destruction. A strenuous schooling this; and the beginning of it was the artillery duel in Charleston harbor.
Beauregards aides assumed too great a responsibility in giving the order to fire the first shot; they should have referred Andersons reply to their chief. There can be no doubt that the Confederate States would have obtained peacefully on Monday what they got by force on Sunday.